Today the Liberal Party candidate for the Kimberley, SOS JOHNSTON released a press release to the community.
EX - GRATIA PAYMENT TO APB WORKERS"After the election of the next coalition Government, I will be urging the Minister of Agriculture to recommend that the government makes an ex-gratia payment to all those affected by the proven rogue batch of the 245T chemical. The ex-gratia payment should also extend to the families of those who are already deceased as a result of this chemical...."
Westralia.Net believes this is a step in the right direction, but in practice it means very little. Although at least Sos refers to the "proven rogue batch", as opposed to the current Minister for Agriculture, Kim Chance, who amazingly states that no evidence exists of the alleged rogue batch. This is despite all the eyewitness accounts by the manufacturer, the users, and the lab that analysed the labelled substance with a dioxin content of 2600 times above the allowable limit set during the spraying program.
The problem with Sos's statement is a worry.
All the information is available now for the current parliamentary opposition to make a firm commitment on how to resolve this issue.
Are they in government going to accept responsibility that the poison affected the workers or not?
Unfortunately, Sos' statement is little better than the Labor Party's Kim Chance's promises to resolve the matter in his previous electioneering.
The Derby dioxin campaigners have approached the Liberal Party leadership and their Agriculture spokesman for their official position on the APB poisonings.
So far, they will not provide an answer.
Mr. Johnston must realise he is playing a game of high stakes with ordinary people's high aspirations of seeking simple justice for the deaths and suffering caused by the WA government. Chance has already been accused of using the deaths and misery for political opportunism. The current member for Kimberley has been an utter disappointment to her constituents on this issue. Be warned, Sos, we won't tolerate more of the same.
If Johnston wants to demonstrate he is above the quality of past contenders, he should come up with the goods and not repeat the hypothetical hopes foisted on the victims for private and party electoral benefits.
If he can gain his party's total support for satisfactory closure on this shameful debacle, not only will he deserve to win, but also he will always be remembered as the local hero who came through with the goods. This should be an absolute priority for any candidate for the electorate, as hopefully the dumping of Carol Martin will prove.
We plead with Sos Johnston, Liberal candidate for the Kimberley, to do his homework.
Present the readily available facts to his party colleagues, and come back with a firm commitment of resolution. The amount of money offered for ex-gratia payment is not relevant at this stage. That is secondary to the base cause of distress; being the continual lying, deceit, and denial of the criminal activities by the government that caused these deaths and injuries.
There is absolutely NO reason that impedes them from making an informed decision prior to the election.
They can start by looking at Westralia.Net's "Derby Dioxin Report" which clearly highlights the evidence that the present Agriculture Minister says does not exist.
If Sos Johnston can pull this off, he will go a long way in gaining support for his party in an otherwise marginalised section of the community.
This section of the community have been shafted and literally left for dead by the WA government.
All decent people know this.